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Friday, April 14, 2017

PEPINO WITH THE MEDIEVAL SPANISH CHEF'S RECIPE FOR CUCUMBER FRITTERS

Peeling Cucumber
Photo by: Lord-Williams
L. Cucumis sativus, Ar. khyaar, Fr. concombre commun, Eng. cucumber. The cucumber is a native of India and Tatarstan (formerly the southern half of Russia) and has been used for over 4,000 years by Orientals, Egyptians and Hebrews. The Arabs introduced it in Andalusia by planting it annually between April and June. During the 12th  and 13th  C, it came up in the culinary world and the impetus was felt in Al-Andalus where it was consumed it to stimulate the brain and over the centuries it has been used externally as a cleanser and refresher with yarrow for oily skins.

It was eaten sliced and salted with lentils. This mixture was left 24 hours before consuming. Too, it was drunk as a juice. It was recommended for diabetics. It was also salad food with lettuce, nuts and raisins. As a vegetable, it was served with a sauce or stuffed. Nevertheless, it was considered to be a fruit in the Middle Ages along with other members of the Cucumis family such as watermelon and other melons.

Villena instructed that the two ends should be cut off and discarded and the remainder be quartered lengthwise. During the Middle Ages, cucumbers were pickled as today.

The shape is erotic for some but on the contrary for others. It came to mean fertility, healing and chastity.

Straining Cucumber
Photo by: Lord-Williams
2. cucumber fritter.

See cohombro.

[ES: Herbs. Oct 8, 02; ES: Medieval Spanish Chef. Cohombro. Posted April 24, 13; Pacho. “Cocina.” 1994:155; ES: “Pepino.” Apr 13, 04; and Villena/Calero. 2002:23a:42b]

THE MEDIEVAL SPANISH CHEF’S CREATION OF CUCUMBER FRITTERS

Ingredients

4 cucumbers
4 eggs
1 ½ tsp baking soda
4 c flour
½ tsp white pepper
salt to taste
¼ c melted butter
¼  c chopped mint

olive oil for deep frying

Preparation

Uniquely Delicious
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Peel and grate cucumbers. Put them in a food processor and grind. Pour them into a strainer. Press them with a spatula to squeeze out the juice.

Combine cucumbers with the remaining ingredients, except the oil, in large bowl. The mixture should result into a soft batter, like a thick pancake batter.

Heat a frying pan. Add olive oil and heat. Fill one tablespoon of batter and drop it on the frying pan. Repeat until there is no more room left.

When fried, place fritters on a paper towel and let sit before serving.

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